Lake Shore anticipates ‘big year’ – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – January 23, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Lake Shore Gold’s two superstar mines just keep on growing. The company’s vice-president of operations, Dan Gagnon, didn’t have very many negatives to present to Timmins city council during a review of 2012 and a look ahead to Lake Shore’s upcoming operations in 2013.

Gagnon said that while the Fenn-Gib property, East of Matheson, has “great potential for an open pit, our great focus will be on our two main assets, the Timmins West and Bell Creek complexes.” He called 2012 a “very exciting and good year,” and said the company is poised to reach new heights in 2013.

“We did a lot of mine building, a lot of mill construction over the past year, and a lot of improvement in our systems,” said Gagnon. “Now this year, I think we’re seeing the benefits of all that work. I think we’re poised for a break-out this year.

“We met production guidance and development and expansion objectives and expanded our milling capacity by 25%, and we’re looking to increase production capacity to 3,000 tons per day by second quarter of 2013.”

After processing 85,000 ounces of gold at the two mines last year, Gagnon said the company is expecting to produce up to 130,000 ounces in 2013 and 150,000 ounces by 2014.

Capital spending for the company reached more than $175 million in 2012 – most of which was spent within the Timmins community – and it will be paying off in spades this year as the Timmins West site enters its first year of full production.

Lake Shore will spend $80 million in 2013 to continue building their current mines and expanding mill operations, while $10 million will be dedicated to underground exploration.

“This year, we want to deliver value, we want to generate free cash flow for the shareholders, we want to make sure that stock price starts climbing,” said Gagnon. “We’re bringing Timmins West to full production, we’re going to continue to improve on our operating performance, lower our costs, increase our margins, start making money.

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